4 Reasons Your Partner Isn’t Fully Supportive of Your Dreams (and What to Do About It)

Since your passion is core to who you are, it's hurtful when someone you love isn't fully supportive of your dreams and endeavors. It's more common than you may believe; spouses, partners, friends, and relatives can be brutal when it comes to supporting entrepreneurs in their dreams. Keep the faith, it's not impossible to meet in the middle–or to win them over entirely.

Here's what may be going on, and how you can make it better.

1. Others don't understand the entrepreneurial mindset.

Let's face it, entrepreneurs are a breed unto themselves. You are willing to take emotional and financial risks to attain the dream. You strive for freedom but often work sixty-plus hour weeks. The passion runs so deep that others can't possibly know how it feels.

Entrepreneurs frequently tell me how much they love their partner and friends, but people who don't relate to an entrepreneurial mindset may not be able to support you as you like and need.  You may be looking in the wrong place for the camaraderie and encouragement you seek from those in your personal life.

Solution: Find like-minded supporters

Spend time with other entrepreneurs. There are groups out there for almost any interest. Sharing stories, brainstorming, and lending your expertise will give you a dose of the mental and emotional stimulation you crave. The assistance of a great coach or mentor is strongly advised to aid you in creating this balance.

2. They feel robbed of your attention.

The important people in your life may feel deprived of your attention. It's tough to admit this, so they may cite something else as the problem, become argumentative, or go into avoidance mode. This creates confusion because you can't possibly find a solution to a problem that you haven't properly identified.  Oftentimes, loved ones will say they support you, but their actions don't match their words. This is particularly true if your attention is lopsided, in favor of your business. Sometimes things get so bad at home that the entrepreneur hides behind the business to avoid facing the issues at home or in their friendships.

Solution: Create balance and avoid making promises you may not be able to keep.

Broken promises are a brutal blow to our loved ones and will cause their feelings to deepen with disappointment. Have you told your significant other that the business won't disrupt your household or relationship? You know that's not true. Do you break your plans or constantly run late? That gets old after a while so your partner is bound to feel let down and annoyed.

If you find yourself begging forgiveness for broken promises, then something must change.  Be honest, realistic, and forthright rather than avoiding the truth in fear of backlash or disappointing them. It's only fair that they know what they're dealing with. Learn to work on your business instead of in your business and create processes to expedite and organize things so you can spend more time with your loved ones. You might find they become more supportive when they don’t feel second to your business.

3. They are more risk-averse than you are.

When entrepreneurs sink time and money into a business it changes the financial landscape of the household. Savings decrease, debt increases, and lifestyle luxuries go by the wayside. Your partner may be focused on dollars in the bank today, while you're focused on a larger fortune down the road.  Spouses sometimes feel resentful, especially if they cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Your dream may require them to work harder to make ends meet, placing the burden of financial survival on their shoulders while you “squander away the money.”

Solution: Have a solid financial plan and share it with them.

Many entrepreneurs begin their businesses as a sole proprietor. As things grow and problems arise (because they will), it's difficult to slow down enough to create a plan. A business without a plan leads to a lack of clarity and direction. I'm not a fan of full-blown business plans unless an investor is involved, but a basic financial forecast and growth strategy is a must. These plans will help those who love you feel more secure about your investment.

4. They are afraid for you.

No one who loves you wants to see you hurt. While they may not understand your vision and commitment, they do understand how much it means to you. They probably hear about your concerns, but do you communicate your positive development and wins? You may feel like you've got this, but they cannot be inside your head, so they don't feel as confident as you do. This doesn't mean they don't believe in you; they just don't see the big picture as you do.

Solution: Be conscious of how you communicate.

Sometimes it feels good to vent–to express your fears and unburden yourself when things aren't going well. So, you dump on your loved one and leave them feeling your pain. It's good to vent but make sure it's balanced by expressing a positive outlook or something that will help to resolve their concern. Of course, they will worry for and about you. Many entrepreneurs have come to me after years of using their spouse as a sounding board, only to realize it's ineffective and stressful for both parties. Again, a coach or someone else who can fill this role is a good way to go. Not to exclude others, but to balance the load.

One more important note: Never make assumptions about the meaning behind your loved one's seemingly negative actions. Reading messages into another's behavior is a fine way to create unnecessary trouble for the relationship. The key to success and feeling supported is to communicate clearly and to remember that support is a two-way street

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